MIC

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As soon as I stepped into the harshly-lit, humid and ever-so-crowded Beirut airport, familiarity flooded my senses. Anxiety did as well, as it had ever since I boarded the plane from Rome.

Lennon Wall at Quarry Bay bus terminal with flyers and messages of resistance under the bridge. In the middle, candles were set up on the floor to mourn the deaths of those who died by suicide or died during the movement.

As I walk on the corners of Nathan Road where I had the fondest memories of my teenage years, I see water cannons and riot police with their rifles and I start coughing from the teargas as I try to find the nearest train station on New Year’s Eve.

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Forward: I have written extensively about how my Indian and American identities have shaped and influenced who I am as a person today.

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In the past three years at this university, I’ve learned a ton. Most of my learning has been done outside of the classroom, however, I have also learned by actively taking part in movements, issues and communities that challenge me to think about the world critically.

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I did not understand what it means to be Black in America until I arrived at the University of Michigan. I will never forget attending Campus Day and watching droves of white people walking to the stadium for a football game.

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My early life was split between the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Canada and eventually the US. Growing up in these nations with such starkly distinct, often opposing, traditions, languages, religious beliefs and cultural practices has shaped my worldview significantly.

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“No hats allowed in class!” 

“Why? She’s got one on.” 

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As a freshman, I struggled a lot because I felt out of place and unwelcomed due to all of the racism that was happening on campus at the time.

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Candidly speaking (as always, of course), I joined MiC because I love to talk about myself. I first learned about this group at the encouragement of fellow peers on the MiC staff.

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I joined MiC because when I got to college, I really wanted to find a space where I could be myself and pursue my passions while surrounded by like-minded people.